Yoga

I can’t decide whether I like yoga or not. We have free yoga in my office Tuesdays and Thursdays. When it’s a yoga day, I’m kind of dreading going to yoga, and I psych myself up for it, knowing that I’ll be glad I did it later. But then, I often feel as though I don’t have time for it, like I’m too stressed out, and I have too many other tasks to do. But here’s the irony. In the back of my mind, I know that if I do go to yoga, I’ll feel more at peace with what’s going on in my life, and I won’t be so worried. Usually, the stuff I have to do is totally surmountable, and I’m just building it up in my mind, so it’s better to go to yoga.

I also worry about being bored during yoga. I went to yoga on Thursday, and I performed a little experiment on myself. In every pose, I asked myself, do I dislike this, or do I enjoy it? Do I feel good or bad? You know what? I felt good in every single pose, even the hard ones. When I queried my mind to ask whether I felt good or bad, I felt good in every case.

Now, I realize that it’s not a very yoga thing to do, to continually ask oneself whether one is enjoying the experience, but my mind is flitting around from thing to thing anyway. So it seems to me that it’s actually an improvement over whatever my mind might be doing otherwise. Not that I’m going to do this all the time, but I think I might as well give my mind free rein, and just try to look the part of the yogi at peace.

Couldn’t it just be a matter of faking it till I make it?

I dunno. I really wonder about people who do weeklong meditation retreats. They come back saying they didn’t hate it, which seems truly remarkable to me. Is it just that they can’t say they hated it, because if they did, it would be too difficult to face that truth? I feel as though there’s a little of that in me when I meditate. And yet, I don’t just run screaming from the room when faced with the prospect of meditating for 10 minutes. Somehow, it feels both good and bad. I’m a nervous wreck, and I’m at peace, at the same time.

Maybe that’s what it’s like to attend a weeklong (or longer) meditation retreat. You hate it and love it. Or maybe you somehow get beyond that feeling. It sounds painful, that going beyond.

Today, when I was running, I was imagining a meditation retreat where you would have an hour a day to binge on the Internet, being social, whatever. Would it be at the beginning of the day or the end? I would think it should be at the beginning of the day, so you end the day with the feeling you got from meditating all day. Or maybe that binging is a terrible idea.